Before the cold sets in for a very long winter here in Southeast Idaho, there are some things we should be sure to take care of in and around our homes before temperatures consistently stay at or below freezing. As many folks have moved into the state from warmer climates, they may be unaware of these check-mark items that seem so natural for those who were born and raised here. Here is a list of must-do items to add to your list of things to do before winter hits so that you can keep your home warm and comfortable as well as energy efficient.
Insulate Your Home
Check the insulation in your attic, walls, and basement. Adding or upgrading insulation can help maintain a comfortable temperature and reduce energy costs.
Seal Air Leaks
Seal gaps and cracks around doors and windows with weatherstripping or caulk to prevent cold drafts from entering your home.
Upgrade Windows and Doors
If your windows and doors are old and drafty, consider replacing them with energy-efficient models.
Check Your Heating System
Have your furnace or heating system serviced to ensure it’s working efficiently. Replace filters regularly and consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system if necessary.
Install a programmable thermostat to regulate your home’s temperature, lowering it while you’re away or sleeping and raising it when you’re home.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
In the winter, set your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise at a low speed to push warm air down from the ceiling to help keep rooms at a more comfortable temperature.
Insulate exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting. This is especially important in unheated areas like basements and crawlspaces.
Maintain the Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned. Consider using a fireplace insert or doors to prevent heat loss when it’s not in use.
Check Your Roof
Ensure your roof is in good condition and free from leaks. Remove any snow or ice buildup to prevent damage.
Prepare for Power Outages
Keep essential supplies like flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, and a backup heating source in case of power outages.
Remove debris from gutters to prevent ice dams and water damage to your home.
Trim tree branches that could potentially fall on your home during heavy snow or ice storms.
Use Draft Stoppers
Use draft stoppers or door snakes at the base of exterior doors to prevent cold air from seeping in.
Storm Windows and Doors
Consider installing storm windows and doors for an extra layer of insulation and protection.
Prepare for Snow Removal
Make sure you have the necessary tools and equipment for snow removal, such as a snow blower, shovels, and salt or de-icer.
Create an emergency kit with items like blankets, extra clothing, non-perishable food, water, and a first-aid kit in case of severe winter storms.
Drain and Store Outdoor Water Hoses
Disconnect and drain outdoor water hoses to prevent freezing and potential damage.
Winter-proofing your home will help your home not only be safe throughout the winter but all year round, and can make your home more comfortable, energy-efficient, and resilient during the harsh winter conditions in Southeast Idaho. It’s essential to start these preparations well in advance of winter so that you will not need to call in reinforcements for help later.